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Thursday, 29 December 2011 | 00:00
DJ30 PointChange: -139.94 Level: 12151.11 NASDAQ PointChange: -35.22 Level: 2589.98 SP500 PointChange: -15.79 Level: 1249.61 NASDAQ-Adv:523 Dec: 2086 NYSE-Adv:628 Dec: 2419 [BRIEFING.COM] Stocks finished near their worst levels of the session as renewed concerns over the situation in Europe weighed on the major averages. Today’s news that spooked investors included reports that deposits at the European Central Bank hit a record high EUR452 billion and that the central bank’s balance sheet has expanded to a record EUR2.73 trillion. The Dow finished with a loss of 140 points as all of the major averages lost at least 1.1%.
European financials were under pressure as Barclays (BCS 10.71, -0.42) and Deutsche Bank (DB 37.08, -1.59) lost 3.8% and 4.1% respectively.
Shares of Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN 67.98, -1.10) erased early gains after headlines surfaced that the Food and Drug Administration was inspecting the company’s Michigan plant today. The stock tumbled more than 20% late last week on reports an infant’s death had been linked to the company’s Enfamil powdered formula, but rallied almost 6% during yesterday’s session after the company announced a new round of tests confirmed the safety of the product.  

Casino stocks were weak after yesterday’s outperformance following the news that the U.S. Justice Department reversed a previous ruling and will now let states decide if they want to legalize internet poker. Las Vegas Sands (LVS 42.40, -1.59), Wynn Resorts (WYNN 109.22, -4.31), and MGM Resorts International (MGM 10.09, -0.33) all closed lower after rallying on yesterday’s decision.
Google (GOOG 639.70, -0.55) hit its best level in almost four years today as earlier buying ran it to a session high of $645.00. The technology giant is now trading approximately 14% off its November 2007 high of $747.24.
Utility stocks outperformed the major averages as the S&P 500 Utilities Index finished down 0.6%. The sector has been the top performer in 2011 and as recently as today was trading at its best level in 39 months. Northeast Utilities (NU 35.84, -0.01) was the best performer in the space, finishing little changed.

Treasuries saw strong gains as heavy buying dropped the 10-yr yield 10 basis points to 1.908%. An advance of 0.9% ran the dollar index above 80.50 as European worries weighed on the euro and the pound. The euro lost 135 pips to finish near 1.2935 while the pound shed 220 pips and closed at 1.5445.

Source: Briefing

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